They were California long hairs, wild children, hotdog surfers, teenagers. But in pools and on streets, Santa Monica's Zephyr Skate Team invented modern-day freestyle skateboarding. Summer 2005's Lords of Dogtown dramatizes the events of that summer 30 years prior, and its soundtrack doesn't miss a golden opportunity to market some of the best facial-hair rock of the era to a whole new generation. Post-2000, vintage jeans and classic concert T's are more popular than ever. Why not bring the real '70s highlights with big amps, cowbells, and burnouts? Don your headband now. Sequenced together, the eight-plus minutes of Nazareth's "Hair of the Dog" and Foghat's "I Just Want to Make Love to You" are packed with meaty riffs and guitar pedal workouts, and defined by lyrics like "Now you're messin' with a son of a bitch" and "I don't want you to be true." Sweet's "Fox on the Run" is another classic; its inclusion nods to Dazed and Confused. Though they tend toward the average classic rock radio block, selections from Hendrix ("Fire"), Bowie ("Suffragette City"), and Stewart ("Maggie May") still fit here, and Sabbath's "Iron Man" will never go out of style, whether because of its visceral kick or Ozzy's reincarnation as a grandfatherly ghoul. Iggy Pop's "Success" seems like a cue for a sequence where the Z-Boys start spending their money, and T. Rex's "20th Century Boy" nails the cocksure slink of the kid everyone loves. There are a few covers here, too. Rise Against also appears in the film performing Black Flag's 1978 anthem "Nervous Breakdown." And while the eventual influence of punk rock on California skate culture was considerable, there's some continuity issues between Flag and the hard rock of, say, 1973-1975. That's probably okay for a summer movie, though. The Clash's "Death or Glory" didn't come out until 1979, but Social Distortion's version on "Lords of Dogtown" is rollicking and triumphant enough to be a hit single. And hit singles are great, no matter what summer it is.
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AllMusic Review by Johnny Loftus